Pinnacle union wins case for unified representation

Washington DC
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More than 1,300 Pinnacle Airlines flight attendants can now choose whether to combine into a single union, the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA) says.

The National Mediation Board has approved the AFA's request to designate Pinnacle's three operating units, which include Mesaba and Colgan, as a single carrier, the AFA says.

That means Mesaba's 600 flight attendants, which are represented by AFA, and nearly 800 flight attendants represented by the United Steel Workers (USW) can indicate their interest in a unified representation over the next two weeks.

The board's ruling ends a 10-month legal battle between the AFA and USW. The AFA applied on 9 June to combine Mesaba and Colgan into a single carrier. On 22 June, the AFA amended their proposal to also add Pinnacle's operating unit.

The USW filed a motion on 15 July to oppose the AFA's petition to designate Pinnacle's three operating units as a single carrier. The USW argued that the regional carrier does not have a single scheduling system or even a standard uniform.

The AFA has promised to challenge Pinnacle's bankruptcy restructuring proposals, which will likely call for cuts in the number of jobs and overall wages.

Pinnacle has already unveiled plans to wind down Colgan's operations and Pinnacle's CRJ900 fleet, although Mesaba's CRJ900s will continue flying.

"Our union will push back against corporate efforts to make flight attendants pay for management failures," AFA says.